On Monday, President Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in for his second term as America’s 44th commander-in-chief. The spectacle did not hold the shock value and novelty of his first inauguration on January 20, 2009 but it did give us several different things to consider this time around. The speech Obama gave yesterday is already being fawned over liberals as magnificent and conservatives are carefully vying to find things that they do not agree with. But both sides should be able to agree that on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Obama did deliver oratory worthy of recognition with the accolades of the later Dr. King.
But while everyone is talking about what was said, few are discussing what was missing from his speech. These omissions should draw concerns from both sides concerning the country’s direction going forward.
The transcript of the speech can be found here.
After scanning the transcript of the speech several times, I could not find the word “unemployment” once throughout the entire thing. The single most important issue to Americans than any other, regardless of race, religion, orientation, or cell phone carrier, is employment. It does not matter who you are or where you come from; you desire a well-paying job and hope that it is doing something you love. It is very interesting that Obama’s speech did not mention our nation’s unemployment problem at all. The word “jobs” appears only twice in the speech. This is not the campaign anymore, and there should not be a fear to bring attention to the negative issues affecting our country. And more importantly, your plan to deal with them. The jobless rate is 7.8% and it should have warranted more attention.
2. Student loan debt
Along with unemployment comes student debt. We have a generation of young people who all have degrees that cost them thousands of tuition dollars to obtain, and not enough quality opportunities to pay those debts back in a reasonable time frame. This situation cannot continue, or the system is simply going to collapse. It was disappointing to see this important issue go unaddressed.
3. Immigration reform
Obama has stated on numerous occasions that one of his biggest failures from his first term was not dealing adequately with immigration reform. Yet in his inauguration speech, the following sentence is the only one in which the word of the word “immigration” is mentioned.
“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”
If you are going to openly talk about one of your greatest failures and say that it is certainly on the agenda for your second term, it only seems logical to mention it more than once when the entire nation has our undivided attention celebrating the beginning of your second term. Earlier in January, Obama detailed plans to push for an immigration overhaul, and it would only make sense that he address this in his inauguration speech in greater detail. Now, we will just have to wait and see how he wishes to proceed.
4. The Death Star
After the ridiculous petition imploring Obama to green-light to build the planet-destroying monolith, many of us actually wondered if it was for real and would elicit a response. A response from the White House finally came and it would make any Star Wars fan smile.
Wouldn’t it have been great for President Obama to work into his speech the following section.
“Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
Ok, maybe not.